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Historic England Research Records

Cotherstone Castle

Hob Uid: 19889
Location :
County Durham
Cotherstone
Grid Ref : NZ0133019970
Summary : Earthwork remains of motte with possible bailey, probably founded circa 1090 and licenced in 1201. There are also the remains of a two-winged building which is thought to be a hall of later date. The remains consist of the castle mound, average height 3.4 metres and one fragment of masonry footing 9 metres long. A series of terraces have been constructed across what was probably the bailey. As well as the 'two winged building' there are remains of a formal garden and fishponds. Scheduled.
More information : (NZ 0133 1997) Cotherstone Castle (NR) (Remains of) (NAT) (1)

Cotherstone Castle, a motte castle without bailey, was apparently founded circa 1090 AD. In 1200-1 AD Henry Fitz-Hervey replaced the timber defences by masonry and was licenced to crenellate. (2-2a)

Whellan, who says the castle was destroyed by the Scots, describes the remains as being a piece of wall circa 4 ft thick, 8 or 10 ft high and 10 or 12 ft long, and mentions a font and other remains found "in the Chapel-garth adjoining". (3)

The remains consist of the castle mound, average height 3.4 m and one fragment of masonry footing 9 m long. The mound has no circumscribing ditch, and there is no orthodox bailey, but an irregular natural scarp extending westwards from the base of the mound on the north side forms a small plateau which may well have originally served as one. It is now artificially terraced away from the apparent site of a large `two-winged' building, which stood at the base of the mound, towards a probable fishpond on the edge of the area. This complex seems likely to be associated with a later `hall'. Deeds dating from the mid-17th century have established the name `Hallgarth' for the particular field, but no reference is made to `remains' other than those of the castle. (4)

Resurveyed at 1:2500. Air photographic evidence. (a) (5)

Existing survey revised by RCHME during a project on scheduled monuments in County Durham.

The site is generally as described by Authority 4. A series of terraces have been constructed across what was probably the bailey downslope from the foundations of the `two-winged' building, and these may have formed part of a formal garden associated with this building. The previously mentioned fishpond, if it is such, is of interest in having a stone-lined well located roughly in its centre. In the field to the south of the motte lie the abraded remains of a field system, and in the NE corner of this field lie a group of scarps, levelled areas and a platform (all of which stand no more than 1.2 m high), which may relate to the presence of a former settlement complex. (6)

Listed by Cathcart King. (7)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" map 1960
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Source Number : 2
Source : The Yorkshire archaeological journal
Source details : W M I Anson
Page(s) : 341-3
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 22, 1913
Source Number : 2a
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Cal Rot Chart (Rec Com)
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Source Number : 3
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : York & The North Riding 2 1859 (T Whellan et al)
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Source Number : 4
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 RE/23-JUN-1972/OS Archaeology Division Field Investigator
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Source Number : 5
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : R1 GSRobinson/9-JUL-1976/OS Archaeology Division Compiler
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Source Number : 5a
Source : Aerial photograph
Source details : RAF 106G/UK 1700 27.8.46 2144-45
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Source Number : 6
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : Peter Topping/16-SEP-1991/RCHME: Durham SAMs Project
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Source Number : 7
Source : Castellarium anglicanum : an index and bibliography of the castles in England, Wales and the Islands. Volume II : Norfolk-Yorkshire and the islands
Source details :
Page(s) : 516
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Vol(s) : Feb-83
Source Number :
Source : Cotherstone Castle/ink survey
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Built circa 1090
Monument End Date : 1100
Monument Start Date : 1080
Monument Type : Motte, Bailey
Evidence : Earthwork, Conjectural Evidence
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Rebuilt in stone 1201
Monument End Date : 1201
Monument Start Date : 1201
Monument Type : Keep
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Post Medieval
Monument End Date : 1901
Monument Start Date : 1540
Monument Type : Building, Formal Garden, House
Evidence : Earthwork, Ruined Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : DU 120
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Durham)
External Cross Reference Number : 1976
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : NZ 01 NW 6
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON NZ 01 NW 6
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1972-06-23
End Date : 1972-06-23
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: DURHAM SAMS PROJECT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1991-06-01
End Date : 1991-12-01